This is the question I was asked at a recent Technology conference where gender diversity was high on the agenda.
There is definitely a disconnect between girls using technology everyday and seeing it as a career option. If you ask girls in a school classroom how many use Facebook or Apps daily, most will put their hand up. If you ask how many would like a career in technology, most hands are down.
One of the ways I feel we can approach this is to change the perception of technology from being just a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) based career and overlay the idea that technology is also a highly creative sector.
Marketed as a boy's subject
I believe how girls see a career in technology starts at primary school with lessons heavily focused on the Science and IT aspects. It is presented as 'geeky', hard and boring. What if girls knew how creative it was? Would more girls be inspired to have a career in Tech? I believe so.
Inspire the next generation that is it creativity first, technology second. A job in technology enables you to build products that inspire, educate and transform people's lives globally.
The NEW Tech Recruitment strapline
If I was presented with a job advert saying
'Unleash your creative potential. Get a job in Tech'
I would be excited to learn more.
We need a paradigm shift in the way girls see a job in Technology.
Technology enables you to build a creative solution that makes a difference to people's lives. If technology was seen as a creative sector, a lot more girls would embrace it'
- Marina Nicholas
Champion of Change
If you are as passionate as I am about shifting this perception or you have ideas on how to attract more girls in Tech, please leave your comments below.
Let's get the conversation started about this, raise awareness and join together as Champions of Change. #GirlsinTech #WomeninTech
Pain not passion, really? YES!
While most Start Ups launch as a result of a Founders passion, there are a few Start Ups that have gone from Zero to Hero fast, as a result of a pain story. I recently featured YouTube's pain strategy and now it is time to put Airbnb in the spotlight. But first let's recap, what is a Pain strategy?
Fast Track to Success with the Power of Pain
The Pain strategy is based on idea that a product is not created from passion but from a position of pain. It taps into the human suffering a person has experienced and they are then inspired to create a solution to fix the pain. The product is an 'Aspirin', a must have versus a 'VItamin', a nice to have.
Thousands of Start Ups are created from passion. If you love flowers, you may set up a florist. If you love gaming, you may build an App. Passion and pain are both excellent reasons to launch new products. But is one approach more successful than another?
Airbnb's Pain Story
Founded in August 2008, Airbnb now has 1.m listings in 34,000 cities in 141 countries in 8 years. It all started when Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbin decided to rent out three air mattresses in their San Francisco loft apartment to help pay the rent. They noticed that all the hotels in town were fully booked for the design trade show; accommodation was scarce. The flat mates successfully rented out three air mattresses with breakfast for $80 each. This success provided the Founders with the momentum to explore if they were onto something.
Shortly afterwards, the Founders successfully raised $30,000 initial investment, with $7.2m following in 2010 and a further $112m in 2011. In 2011, Airbnb took its 1 millionth booking and 2012 saw the business double in 5 months to achieve its 10 millionth booking.
Power of Pain